Get ready for a flood of IPOs
Flood of IPOs land this week

If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.


The sector typically outperforms the market from September onward, and the shares of 2 low-cost retailers may soon present favorable buying opportunities.

By Aug 30, 2011 10:50AM

By Tom Aspray,

The 0.5% rise in July consumer spending helped give stocks a boost on Monday, as it was the best number since December 2009. Tuesday’s consumer confidence numbers are unlikely to be as positive.

The market’s strength following Friday’s impressive reversal clearly got some of those on the short side a bit nervous. The Advance/Decline (A/D) lines on the major averages are now rising more sharply, but it is still too early to tell if they have really bottomed out.

The bear flag formations discussed last week are still intact, but do allow for a rally in the S&P 500 to the 1225-1230 area. It will be the strength of any pullback once stronger resistance is reached that will shed light on the intermediate term.

During the recent market decline, there have been several market sectors that have performed better than the S&P 500. One such sector that is now entering a strong seasonal period is retail, and while one big-name stock is encountering strong resistance, two others are looking much more attractive.


Despite the somber talk of more recession and a deeper market retracement, the picture is bright. By the end of the year, we could be up smartly.

By Aug 30, 2011 9:37AM

By Jim Lowell, special to

The markets have continued to demonstrate both relative strength and positive resilience in the face of heated political snafus here and globally.

Of course, the weighty question of whither goes the markets from here has become an even more burdensome one, thanks to political rather than economic interests. What else is new?

I continue to think we’ll net a 10% to 15% gain by year's end, based on fundamentals that exhibit earnings growth rather than contraction. I also continue to think it will be a hard slog from here to there.

At the outset of this year, I talked about how we’d likely see another dip in the housing market and a stall in the jobs market. That’s where we are, but where are we heading?


Stable revenue, recent growth and an extraordinary dividend history make this consumer play a great buy.

By InvestorPlace Aug 30, 2011 6:47AM
By Jeff Reeves, Editor,

Hershey Co.
(HSY) reported strong earnings at the end of last month. As a result, Hershey stock is up almost 3% in the past 30 days while the markets remain down about 5%, thanks to a volatile August.

Hershey stock has been a great low-risk investment recently, but what's next for the snacks giant? Well, conventional wisdom holds that small pleasures and consumer staples are recession-proof, so there's no risk of any downturn erasing these gains. And if the numbers are any indication, there is even more success in store for Hershey.

That makes this company a great dividend stock investment for your portfolio.


The new managing director of the International Monetary Fund angers some officials by saying there is still a European debt crisis.

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 29, 2011 5:12PM
Jim JubakChristine Lagarde, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, didn’t make any friends Friday when, at the U.S. Fed’s conclave for the world’s central banks, she said that European banks have an urgent need to raise capital.

European bank regulators and finance ministers spent the weekend shooting back. About the kindest thing they’ve had to say is that Lagarde, the former French finance minister, is "confused," "misguided" and doesn’t understand the nature of the euro crisis.

Which means, of course, that you can be pretty sure that she precisely understands this crisis, that European banking officials know it and that they are really angry at her for daring to suggest that there’s still a debt crisis. Their strategy, you see, is to stop mentioning the problem, and hope that the financial markets will simply forget about it.

Large shares are moving in tandem, which means investors might have to change their strategies.

By Kim Peterson Aug 29, 2011 3:58PM
Picking stocks has always been tough, but lately it's almost a fool's errand.

The Wall Street Journal calls it a "dead art" because global economic concerns have overshadowed the differences among companies. Investors have so much on their plates that they don't have time to discern whether one stock is better than another.

The result? Stocks are moving up and down together. In fact, they're showing shockingly high levels of correlation, which is the way they move in relation to each other. 

Travelzoo leads the pack with a gain of more than 10% at midday.

By Kim Peterson Aug 29, 2011 2:52PM
Updated 6 p.m. ET 

Travelzoo (TZOO) is starting to recover from a month-long beating that took shares down more than 60%.

The stock closed up 10% to $36.93 Monday in a surge that carried along other online travel companies as well. HomeAway (AWAY) also saw a 10% gain, and Expedia (EXPE) closed up 4%.

No one seems to be sure why the sector is seeing renewed interest Monday. Perhaps all the Labor Day travel deals after Hurricane Irene is one culprit. Or maybe it's because Travelzoo has been mentioned as a good acquisition target for a rival like Expedia. 
Tags: travel

The damage from the hurricane wasn't as bad as initially feared, and that gave insurers and reinsurers a boost Monday.

By Kim Peterson Aug 29, 2011 2:22PM
Updated 6 p.m. ET

Insurance companies are breathing a sigh of relief Monday after the damage from Hurricane Irene turned out to be less than initially feared.

Allstate (ALL) closed up 8.5% to $26.30. Hartford Financial Services (HIG) soared nearly 13% to $19.42. One exchange-traded fund that tracks insurance stocks, SPDR KBW Insurance (KIE), rose nearly 6%.

This booming emerging market remains a red-hot opportunity for investors.

By InvestorPlace Aug 29, 2011 12:49PM

By Jeff Reeves, Editor,

In July, some soccer fans were surprised as star footballer Carlos Tevez was debating a departure from England's Premier League to take up a spot on the roster of a team based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Why would a top player even think of abandoning the bright lights of Europe’s soccer scene for a second-tier market in Latin America?

However, this is not a new trend. As The Financial Times reported a few weeks ago, soccer salaries in Brazil have been soaring as the pay scale in Europe has flatlined. If this trend keeps up, Europe might become the second-tier market before long.

Why should you care if you are one of the tens of millions of Americans who couldn’t care less about soccer? Because this trend says a lot about Brazil, its middle class and the region’s economy in general - especially as an investment opportunity.


Up-and-coming professional investors such as Donald Yacktman and Thomas Forester are turning in heroic performances despite challenging market conditions.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 29, 2011 11:54AM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreet


Investors looking for direction in the stock market from star fund managers of the past decade, such as Bill Miller, Ken Heebner and Bruce Berkowitz, have realized they're sometimes as confused as the rest of us are.


Unprecedented events such as the near-default of U.S. government bonds, a painful European debt crisis that seems to have no end and natural disasters abroad and at home have come to a head, pummeling almost everyone's portfolio, save for the extraordinary. Those include Warren Buffett (a sweetheart deal brokered with Bank of America (BAC) last week that will give him $300 million a year in special dividends), Carl Icahn (a reported $2 billion windfall by betting against U.S. stocks this month) and John Thaler (his JAT Capital Management hedge fund is among the best performers in the world this year, up more than 30%).


The benchmark S&P 500 Index ($INX) of U.S. stocks has fallen 6.6% this year, sending mutual fund investors for the exits -- or at least to the relative safety of bond funds as they see returns suffer on once high-flying funds. But there are stock-fund managers building reputations as they assemble wealth for clients. They may not be stars, but they soon may be if their hot hands continue.


Here's a preview of Ciena Corp in advance of Thursday's earnings report

By Jamie Dlugosch Aug 29, 2011 11:28AM

There is a tremendous amount of noise in the market that can influence stock price. Ultimately, the value of a stock is based on the present value of future profits.


When a company reports earnings results, market participants receive a key piece of information that can be used to determine the price of a stock. For a brief moment in time after a company releases its operating performance, the market will adjust pricing based on how the numbers match up against current expectations.


In many cases stocks of companies reporting results will move significantly higher or lower.


Understanding how investors use earnings against Wall Street estimates creates a profitable trading opportunity. Using a few key variables combined with understanding how the market will react to new information can guide you how to trade a stock in advance of the news being reported.


Use the Earnings Predictor to help you identify winning trades. On Thursday Ciena Corp. reports earnings for the quarter ending July 31, 2011.


ETF investors who plan to follow the developments at Apple should have their sights set on the PowerShares QQQ fund.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 29, 2011 11:25AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.


1.    PowerShares QQQ (QQQ)


Steve Jobs' decision to step down from his CEO post at Apple (AAPL) sent shockwaves across the markets last week. Interestingly, the initial impact Jobs' exit has had on Apple's stock price has been largely negligible. On Thursday, immediately following the news, shares of AAPL closed down less than 1%.


Today begins Apple's first full week in the post-Jobs era. Looking ahead it will be interesting to see how newly-appointed CEO, Tim Cook handles the captain chair. This is not the first time Cook has been placed in charge, however. On the contrary, as I pointed out late last week, Jobs had turned to the former COO on a number of occasions over the past few years.


Almost no mutual fund managers have been able to protect Americans from losses in the stock market during this year's volatile trading.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 29, 2011 10:55AM

By Frank Byrt, TheStreetTheStreet


The mutual fund industry this year has been overrun by a stampede out of U.S. stocks and into safer alternatives, namely large-company and bond funds, much as in 2008 when the financial industry needed a bailout to survive.


Investors pulled $14.6 billion from U.S. equity mutual funds and put $102 billion into taxable bond funds through the end of July, said Ryan Leggio, a mutual fund analyst at Morningstar. The S&P 500 ($INX) is down 6.6% so far in 2011 after two years of gains and a slight rebound last week. The benchmark for American equities lost 16% of its value between July 22 and Aug. 19, the most in four weeks since March 2009, which turned out to be the bottom of the last stock-market crash.


"It's been a flight to bonds and away from equities," Leggio said.


Yes, Berkshire bailed out Bank of America last week, but not every ugly company deserves to be saved.

By InvestorPlace Aug 29, 2011 8:43AM

Do you think Warren Buffett was a Lone Ranger fan? It's likely, considering he rode that white horse to the rescue. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) announced $5 billion investment in Bank of America puts him back in the role of hero last week. For the second time since the financial collapse of 2008, Buffett is bringing his substantial war chest of capital to the financial services industry under the auspices of providing confidence and support to the U.S. economy.

But don't think Buffett is out to save every ugly company out there. Here are 3 picks Warren Buffett wouldn't touch at ANY price.


Hurricane Irene looks tough enough, but the barrage of economic news next week could be even more of a problem for the market, given the trend of recent reports.

By Aug 26, 2011 9:04PM
By Tom Aspray,

The equity markets were again buffeted by cross-currents last week, but did manage to close higher overall. Even though there was plenty of volatility, the ranges have actually narrowed since the crazy days in early August.

The markets' strength early in the week was in spite of more Eurozone concerns, as spreads widened on the Spanish and Italian credit-default swaps, and Greek bonds hit a new high in yield.

Even the US financial sector was under pressure, as rumors swirled about Bank of America (BAC). Even though it hit a low of $6.01 on Tuesday, the S&P 500 managed a 3.3% gain for the day.

The short-term technical picture improved further Wednesday, suggesting the S&P 500 could again move to the upper boundaries of its trading range. The rally was quashed Thursday in spite of Warren Buffett's $5 billion vote of confidence in Bank of America.


Bears have crushed several retail stocks - here is a trading story of a diamond in the rough

By Jamie Dlugosch Aug 26, 2011 5:45PM

The market is clearly at a tipping point. With stocks in correction mode, investors are clearly concerned about a double dip recession.  Wall Street economists have been cutting estimates for GDP growth over the last two months.


At the same time Wall Street analysts, those responsible for making forecasts of corporate profits have not yet adjusted downward. That disconnect creates plenty of opportunity to trade companies that are releasing earnings results. The real numbers will be given greater weight than Wall Street expectations.


In the last two weeks I have noticed a change in tone from those companies releasing result. While most companies are still beating analyst estimates the number of misses is on the rise. More importantly guidance for the future is noticeably weaker. There are stocks Warren Buffett will buy and stocks Buffett would not touch.



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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -9.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -25.00. U.S. equity futures are on the defensive amid cautious action overseas. Global equities have been pressured by disappointing earnings from heavyweights like Adidas, Samsung, and Lufthansa. The S&P 500 futures hover nine points below fair value.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei -0.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.1%, and China's Shanghai ... More


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